MY 1968 CHEVELLE SS396 has a very interesting story and a long list of factory options. It was built in the Fremont plant in the third week of May 1968, and delivered to Ostrom Chevrolet in Montebello, California. In July, a 47-year-old woman by the name of Violet Doras purchased this Chevelle SS with Grotto Blue paint and a black vinyl top. I guess she fell in love with the color and options, because why would a woman with two kids want a muscle car?
The options on this car included tinted glass, power windows, door-edge guard, air conditioning, F40 special suspension, disc brakes, Turbo Hydramatic transmission, power steering, electric clock, pushbutton radio, front-seat speaker, front and rear bumper guards, the ZJ7 wheel and trim option, and the auxiliary lighting group. The options totaled $1,226.85 on a car with a base price of $3,047.50, or 40 percent of the purchase price. Violet must have really loved this car.
Violet was born in the early 1920s and grew up during the Depression. It must have been this mentality that prompted her to save every bit of paperwork she received from the dealership as well as from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Violet saved, and I am fortunate to have: the window sticker; conditional sale contract; motor vehicle purchase order; temporary paper license plate for the State of California; temporary registration to stick on windshield; California black plates; envelope that the black plates were mailed in with the stamp in the left front corner reading, “Ronald Regan Governor of California”; Chevrolet Owner Protection Plan booklet with the Protect-O-Plate; owner’s manual; build sheet (partially torn); and Ostrom Chevrolet cardboard dealer plate.
What makes this car even more special is that the interior code on the trim tag is 765-158, for Buick Deluxe Bench Seat. You may be aware of the Buick/Oldsmobile/ Pontiac interiors that were installed at three Chevelle plants (Fremont, Kansas City, and Baltimore) for about a three-month period during a supplier work stoppage. This car is one of them.
Violet kept her Chevelle until 1995. She would have been 74 years old or so when the car was sold to Sean Barrett in California. Sean kept the car until 2010 and sold the car to a friend of mine here in Louisville who brings cars in from California to be saved. I purchased the car from him shortly